Social media standings (Part 2): T-Birds teams and their online presence

The social media review sequel has finally arrived, back by popular demand — it turns out that if you write ‘Part 1’ in an article title, the good people at The Ubyssey will inevitably ask you where ‘Part 2’ is.

Now into February, I am sure that you have long forgotten the promises you made yourself for a brighter 2018. I typically lose track of my resolutions as well, but not this year. After 20 years of working towards making myself a better person, the world seems a far more scary and uncertain place than ever before. It’s finally time for me to turn my attention to the larger issue: everyone else.

This is why, in addition to the reviews, I will also provide one goal for 2018 for each of the teams featured. I’m not here to proclaim that accomplishing these goals will fix the problems in the world, but it’s time for someone else to give small resolutions a try.

Baseball: 5/5

Twitter – @ubc_baseball

Instagram – @ubcbaseball

Facebook – /ubcbaseball/

UBC baseball’s social media has a few things going for it. First, it's the only team I have come across that sells their own merchandise through their Facebook page. Additionally, though baseball has been in their offseason, their activity across the major platforms hasn’t slowed down. They have continued to post consistently, seemingly able to generate content out of thin air, as they haven’t actually played a league game in month — they start games up again on February 9.

As far as I can recall, they are also the only team to have assembled and posted a team group costume for Halloween – at least I hope that’s the explanation behind that Instagram post where the team is dressed up as Hugh Heffner and a fleet of Playboy Bunnies. Perhaps it’s better not to ask these sorts of questions.

Goal for 2018: As every rabid baseball fan knows, the most tantalizing thing a team can post on a daily basis is that blurry picture of their game-day lineup. Why should that thrill be limited just to days where games are played? From this point forward, I think a line-up posted every day, regardless of whether or not a game is played, would be a great addition to their social media game. Whether it’s workout schedules, meals plans or fields in order of preference – I need it assembled into some kind of line-up, and for a photo to be posted. I need my fix.

UBC Baseball Halloween 2017

A post shared by @ ubcbaseball on

Track and field & cross country: 4.5/5

Twitter – @ubctrack

Instagram – @ubctrack

Facebook – /UbcTrackAndFieldAndCrossCountry

UBC track and field and cross-country’s social media benefits from having two large teams with lots of athletes. With such a large base to draw content from, the Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages keep busy with all the successes of the teams – there’s always something exciting to post about, it seems.

That said, I can’t be the only one who thinks that the majority of their posts are photoshopped. There’s no possible way that the team can have so many real, un-doctored pictures of people running and smiling at the same time. As far as I’m concerned, running and smiling have never been two things that go together. Usually it’s running and some stern grimace. Maybe that’s just me.

Goal for 2018: Event variety. Someone told me the track team does this thing where people literally throw spears and cannonball type things as a sport… competitively. Not sure why that isn’t pictured more. If I threw spears and cannonballs in my spare time, you would not be able to get me to stop posting about it. The goal for 2018 is to get on posting about that javelin and shot put life — the people need it.

Women's basketball: 4/5

Twitter – @UBCWBBall

Instagram – @ ubcwbball

UBC’s women’s basketball team has the most active Twitter account of all the UBC teams – this is an unsubstantiated claim I am going to make because that’s hard to check. In addition, it’s nice to see that they include a basketball emoji in the majority of their +2,500 tweets.

This team also has the highest percentage of photographs that are just posed team pictures. In fact, as far as I can tell, members of this team are not able to be apart. Perhaps this comes from a place of camaraderie, of friendship and teamwork, but I would prefer to think that there is some other reason behind it. Like perhaps it is written into their contracts that they’re never allowed to venture off on their own, or perhaps UBC Performance has bioengineered all the players into one organism to make them a more cohesive unit. Just a thought.

Goal for 2018: Remember that climactic scene in Space Jam where Michael Jordan’s arm stretches out to 20 feet long, so that he can dunk the ball, win the game and defeat the aliens? I think you know what I’m getting at here, I needn’t say more.

Women's rugby: 4/5

Twitter – @UBCWRugby

Instagram – @ubcwrugby

The women’s rugby team does a nice job of staying current with their social media posts. Of all the teams researched, they have the best live content and often post tweets and game footage so that their followers can stay up-to-date. The Instagram account deserves praise as they are the only team account to post a picture of a player with their eye literally swollen shut.

Goal for 2018: With so many other pictures of players tackling one another on the page, I know what these women are capable of. I know that behind those smiles are a group of women who could absolutely take me down if they wanted to. So, keep on doing what you’re doing, women of the UBC rugby team, no need for a 2018 goal.

Congrats on the win @ubcwhky!! We are your biggest fans 💙

A post shared by UBC Women's Rugby (@ubcwrugby) on

Golf: 3.5/5

Twitter – @varsitytbirds

Instagram – @ubcgolf

Now into the winter months, the UBC golf team’s Twitter account has slowed down tremendously as the team enters their hiatus between the fall and spring seasons. The only content available over the past few months has been retweeted from other sources. Their Instagram page has had limited action this winter as well, though all of the most recent pictures they've posted are high quality.

The golf team has an unparalleled sense of fashion, which sets them apart from all other teams. From the hats, to the belts, to that one glove that they all wear for some reason, there’s plenty of opportunity to accessorize. I can’t tell if they’re hitting the fairway or hitting the runway.

Goal for 2018: Everyone’s pants seem to be hiked up to this nebulous region where I can’t tell if they’re comfortable or not. Please hike everyone’s pants up five more centimetres, just so I can be sure that they’re as uncomfortable as I would imagine they are.

Softball: 3.5/5

Twitter – @UBCSoftball

Instagram – @ubcsoftball

So far as I can tell from their Twitter page, the UBC softball team has one player: Claire Eccles. But, also, it seems like they only need one – she’s that good. The page is filled with endorsements that she’s received from all over the world in support of her accomplishments, including ex-Toronto Blue Jay R.A. Dickey, the Washington Post and some Japanese website that I cannot read on account of it being in Japanese.

The Instagram page does include pictures of other equally important members of the team, though. Much like the baseball team, the softball team makes it seem as though they are keeping busy, continuing to post pictures through the off-season.

Goal for 2018: UBC Softball has become famous, at least amongst me, myself and I, for their pinstriped uniforms. From the standpoint of branding, the pinstripes need to become a more prevalent staple in all of the softball team’s posts. I’m talking pinstriped snowsuits in your ski pictures, pinstriped Santa hats in your festive pictures and pinstriped letterhead to print contracts on. They’re one of the lucky few teams that has a calling card and they need to exploit it at every opportunity.

Football: 3/5

Twitter – @tbirdsfootball (now defunct)

Instagram – @officialubcfootball

Facebook – /ubcfootball/

I expected more from the football team. The Facebook account is used only minimally and the Twitter account has not posted since 2016. You would think that a large team like football would be able to maintain a Twitter account, but apparently this is not the case. What the team lacks on these platforms, however, they try to make up for on their Instagram page. The account has 1,052 followers and 61 posts.

On the other hand, head coach Blake Nill has a strong Twitter presence on his personal account, @CoachNill, which — though not an official UBC Thunderbirds account — deserves a shout-out for his left, right and centre posting about the football world, including spicy takes on who he's signed for the 'Birds.

Goal for 2018: It would seem to me that, as an avid fan of the football team who attended every home game this year, that maybe I should be more prominently featured. I couldn’t find a single picture of me on their Instagram. I mean, I don’t need like an official shout-out or anything, I’m not one for attention, but I’m open to ideas.

Men's rugby: 3/5

Twitter – @UBCrugby

Instagram – @ubcrugby

It turns out that the men’s rugby Instagram account that I have long admired isn’t actually run by anyone associated with the team. Instead, it is just some loyal fan that has dedicated their personal time to create a fan-page. It could be the mom of a player or an avid journalist — either way, I respect their work. Points deducted for the account being run by someone outside of the team, but points added for the quality content.

The Twitter account, on the other hand, actually seems to be run by the team. The account is quite active, with over 1,300 tweets and nearly 1,500 followers. The Twitter page is also the only place I have ever seen the rugby ball emoji used, which I didn’t even know existed. My guess is that it is tied for least used sports emoji with “guy playing handball”.

Goal for 2018: There’s one picture on the team’s Instagram account that shows the entire roster shirtless on the beach. My goal for the person who runs this account for the year is to post many more like this, please. For reasons of…on account of… uh… school spirit, and such. Go ’Birds go.